THE MIGHTY is hardly that – a derivative, manipulative film that makes SIMON BURCH look like an Oscar contender. It is an After-School special masquerading as a festival film, and proves to be little more then trite pap that gets fed to adolescents as entertainment.
Kieren Culkin reverts to a Macaulay-style performance, complete with wide eyed screams and goofy eyebrow raising. The story is the tale of Kevin Dillon, a boy with a congenital disease that prevents his bones from growing. He befriends the thuggish Max, who becomes his stead. Together, they romp Arthur like through the tale, with poor, fat Max being little more then a Clydesdale for the crippled Culkin.
Sharon Stone, as Dillon’s mom, doesn’t even seem to be paying attention to her lines. To simply cut her hair and expect dramatic sensibility is a little tough to swallow. She really is quite bad in this film. The other performances are equally weak, and the ending is all the more disinteresting because it is so obviously set up from about five minutes into the film.
Films for kids needn’t be insultingly simplistic, and I feel that this film suffers from not listening to this edict. While DOWN IN THE DELTA transcended its television origins to be something truly cinematic, THE MIGHTY remains little more then filler between commercial messages selling toys or cereal. For me, the most depressing thing is that some people got caught up in this film – there are far more, far better films that should elicit tears. It is like standing ovations – crying at a film like this is like giving a standing ovation because one is expected to, not because one feels compelled inside to do so. There is little to be found in this film that would warrant such compulsion.